The anointment of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate has drawn tremendous response across the country and the party would contest the elections with development as the main agenda, senior BJP leader M Venkaiah Naidu said on Monday.
“After the BJP has announced Narendra Modi as the Prime Ministerial candidate, our opponents, particularly Congress, is rattled. They are making irresponsible, at times, idiotic statements,” Mr. Naidu told reporters here.
“One leader says that it will be end of democracy if Modi wins. The party which has murdered democracy is making such absurd allegations. They are afraid that they will not be able to face Narendra Modi and his development agenda,” he said.
Noting that L K Advani did not oppose Mr. Modi’s anointment, Mr. Naidu said the veteran leader felt that the decision could have been taken after the coming Assembly elections.
“I don’t want to make any comment in the context of Advaniji. He (Advani) is our senior leader. He brought all of us here. The countrymen know about his contribution. He is the tallest political leader in India’s political history as of now. He has his view,” the BJP leader said.
“He (Advani) did not oppose Narendra Modi as I am telling you clearly. He had raised a point and the majority of the people felt early announcement will be good. You have seen Parliamentary Board unanimously making a choice,” he said.
Replying to a query, Mr. Naidu said the BJP did not take the decision about projecting Mr. Modi as the party’s face for the elections under pressure from RSS and that Hindutva would not be an electoral issue.
“Hindutva is not an election issue. It is the cultural identity of the nation. Let’s be very clear. It is not a political issue. We are clear that agenda is development. We have not taken this under pressure from anyone. Yes, the party has taken the decision in deference to the aspirations of the people. That’s why it is being welcomed all over the country,” he said.
To another question, Mr. Naidu said several other parties would come to BJP and that there will be realignment of political forces before and after elections.
He claimed that Congress may choose to go for early elections as it fears losing four out of the five states, where Assembly elections will be held soon.
“May be. We cannot believe Congressmen. All studies say out of five states, Congress is going to lose four states.
That being the case, once they lose four states, their morale in fighting Lok Sabha elections will be very less. That is one fear in them. They are discussing both options. If Congress president says no early elections, then we have to doubt.
Because they will never tell the truth,” he said.
Mr. Naidu said the BJP would present a blue print for development before the country, which is craving for development and good governance.
Alleging that BJP’s rivals would try to divert people’s attention from issue of development and bring in communal politics, he said the party is determined to pursue the agenda of good governance.